6 Questions That Can Help You Evaluate Your Business Bank Relationship

September 26, 2022

Halfway through 2022, a tight labor market, inflation, and rising interest rates point to slowing growth for Arizona’s economy in the short term, but the state is still projected to outpace national growth in the longer term. As you plot the future of your Arizona business in this environment, it might be a perfect time to evaluate the relationship with your business bank. 

When every dollar and every decision count, taking a closer look at your banking relationship could save you money, create new efficiencies and even help you grow your business. 

Here, we break down six questions whose answers can provide a clearer picture of how well your bank is working for you. 

Is my bank evolving with my business? 
Finance is a fast-moving sector. Whatever business you’re in, chances are there are new technologies that can help you reach your goals. As you keep pace with rapid developments in your industry, your banker should be doing the same. Ideally, your bank will offer financial products and services — perhaps even proprietary solutions for your industry — that are right for you. 

Does my banker ask questions about my business — and listen to my answers? 
In a strong partnership, asking the right questions leads to a conversation. To truly understand your vision for your business, bankers look forward to these conversations and can offer constructive suggestions that may even help you shape your goals. The 80/20 rule applies to these conversations in that your banker should listen 80% of the time.  

Does my bank understand my market? My industry? 
What differentiates your business from your competitors? What revenue targets are realistic in your sector in the next quarter — and in the years to come? How does your industry perceive your company, and where do you stand against the competition? Most importantly, what comes next? Whether you’re in manufacturing, real estate, tourism, agriculture or any of the numerous sectors that power Arizona’s economy, a good financial partner will have deep experience and a detailed understanding of your market.

Does my banker understand the day-to-day in my business? 
The big picture matters, but a good relationship manager also understands the day-to-day details you deal with as a business owner. For example, having a thorough grasp of your cash flow enables your banker to offer you treasury management solutions that fit your specific needs. Knowing your industry timelines means your bank can work to help you keep projects on track. Your bank should understand precisely what delivering on your customers’ expectations entails.

Is my banker a trusted advisor? 
As a business owner, you turn for advice to certain people who have your best interests at heart. That may include your lawyer, accountant and mentors or coaches from your business journey. Is your banker on that list? Do they respond promptly to your calls and messages, give sound counsel and make meaningful suggestions? Those things are more important than ever in today’s rapidly changing business environment. 

Is my banker proactive about contacting me?
Good relationship managers want to know how things are going with their clients. They reach out to check in and suggest solutions that are right for you. Do you get the sense that your banker understands your business? If not, or if you get the feeling that you are just a name on a client list, it may be time to look elsewhere. 

Whatever stage your Arizona business is in, it’s always a good idea to consider the strength of your business banking partnership. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help, reach out to an Alliance Bank of Arizona relationship manager today.